How can food safety be improved?
As the owner of the food business do complete a formal course in Food Safety and Food Hygiene even if it is just a basic course, to begin with. It is so important to have this knowledge so that you can pass it onto your staff.
Checklist for food outlet operators
This checklist is designed as a guidance tool to ensure food outlet operators are prepared for an inspection by a Council officer.
Answer Yes or No to the following:
The licence or a copy of the licence is displayed within the fixed food premises.
Skills and knowledge
All staff have appropriate skills and knowledge in food safety and hygiene matters.
Food handling controls
- Procedures are in place to ensure food that is being received is protected from contamination.
- Check packaging is intact and use-by-date is current.
- Potentially hazardous foods being received are only accepted at the current temperature.
- Records are kept of food being received.
- Raw food is stored separately from ready-to-eat foods.
- All food is covered for storing.
- Cold food is stored below 5 degrees C.
- Hot food is stored above 60 degrees C.
- Frozen food is stored at -18 degrees C.
- Food is rotated to ensure the first-in-first-out principle.
- Raw foods are processed separately to ready-to-eat foods.
- Separate utensils are used during food processing (for example knife used to cut up raw meat is not used on cooked meat or salads).
- Chemicals are kept away from processing areas.
- Processing areas are kept free from dirt, dust and foreign objects.
- Potentially hazardous foods are held outside of temperature controls for minimal periods only.
Food is thawed in either the refrigerator or microwave.
Cooling cooked food
When cooling cooked potentially hazardous food, it is cooled;
- from 60 degrees C to 21 degrees C within two hours
- from 21 degrees C to 5 degrees C within a further four hours.
Reheating previously cooked then cooled food
Food is rapidly heated to above 60 degrees C.
Potentially hazardous food on display is under the following temperature control:
- Cold food below 5 degrees C
- Hot food above 60 degrees C.
Food is packaged in a manner, and using materials, that protect it from contamination.
- Food is transported in a manner that protects it from contamination.
- Food is transported in a manner that keeps it under temperature control where appropriate.
Food that is recalled or is suspected of being unsafe and/or unsuitable, is held separately and identified prior to disposal or return.
- If engaged in wholesale supply, manufacture or importation, a food recall system is in place.
- All other food businesses must ensure food is identifiable to ensure appropriate action in the event of a food recall.
Contact with food
Food handlers are to avoid unnecessary contact with food, eg tongs are to be used as much as possible.
The health of food handlers
Staff who are suffering from food-borne illnesses are temporarily excluded from food handling until medical clearances have been obtained.
- Staff wears clean clothing.
- Staff eats away from food preparation areas.
- Staff wash their hands correctly and at appropriate times.
- Liquid soap, single-use towels and warm water are available at hand washbasins.
- Hot and cold water is available.
- Accessible hand washbasins are available at all times.
- Hand washbasins that are only used for hand washing are available.
Other duties of a good business
- Food handlers have been informed of their health and hygiene obligations.
- Ensure persons on the premises are not contaminating food.
- Fixtures, fittings and equipment are maintained in a clean condition.
- Note: it is recommended that a documented cleaning schedule is devised and implemented
- Eating and drinking utensils are cleaned and sanitised before use.
- Food contact surfaces of benches and equipment are sanitised before use.
The premises and equipment are kept in a good state of repair and working order.
- The food business has a thermometer (probe type with an accuracy of +/- 1 degrees C).
- A cleaner and sanitiser are available for probe between uses.
How can food safety be improved?
In order to keep your food outlet clean and the food you serve safe, it is necessary to put food safety and food hygiene management procedures in place.
Want to know more about food safety and food hygiene? For a very low investment why not purchase a copy of:
understand and comply with health and safety food standards, to ensure the food you are selling is safe for your customers.
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